Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Picking Up the Pieces

Super Mario just lost the princess to that douche Dwayne Jarrett

A day has now passed since Michigan got steamrolled by USC in the Rose Bowl and I'm still at a loss for answers. What the hell happened to the offensive line? It seemed like Chad Henne had about 2.5 seconds before a USC defender was in his face as apparently the line, which had been great all season, forgot how to block. There are few things worse then seeing Henne deal with pressure. As I said in my preview if you get defenders on him he tends to kind of tuck the ball in and turtle, and that's pretty much what happened on every other pass play in the Rose Bowl. Defenders surround Henne, Henne struggles to move up in pocket, Henne is sacked. Just horrible to watch.

The offensive line also forgot how to zone block for the running game as Mike Hart was held in check all day. Hart gained 10 yards on Michigan's first play from scrimmage and then pretty much disappeared for the rest of the game. I don't blame this on Hart as it seemed whenever he got the ball he had two or three defenders on him immediately. Doesn't really matter how shifty you are if you have three guys bearing down on your ass. Maybe the long layoff threw Michigan's line off their rhythm, but if that's the case then USC did a damn good job of adjusting to a similar layoff, which means something is wrong with the coaching on that one.

Michigan's defense was also scorched in the second half by John David Booty and Dwayne Jarrett. As usual the front four was able to stop USC's rushing attack, but the difference in this game was that they weren't able to get any sort of pass rush on Booty. Branch played well in spots (including that forced fumble) but didn't step up enough. Woodley was nowhere to be seen unless you count him getting blocked as Booty threw another TD pass. I don't know if Leon Hall was really burned as much as Willis Barringer hung him out to dry on a couple of throws where he should have been the safety help over the top. Morgan Trent was picked on all day and showed that he still has a bit of maturing to go. I think the only defender who really had a great game was David Harris who delivered that bone jarring hit on Jarrett that forced him to drop that touchdown pass that kept the game close for longer then it should have. Where was the defense that shut down every (except for a great Ohio State team) this year? It's like they knew how to play for 11 games and then decided to shut it down for two games. The worst part of it all is that this is the side of the ball where Michigan loses a lot of their best players next season so they may have to try and outscore teams next year....hmmm...

Coaching was your typical Michigan game plan. Run the ball (even if it obviously isn't working) until you are down by 2 scores and then start throwing the ball when the defense actually expects it and can just blitz. This game was tied at 3 at half....then USC made adjustments on offense and blew it open. Where were Michigan's adjustments? I was just watching the game at home and noticed that USC was bringing the house every third down....why not adjust and change things up a bit? Michigan finally went to the shotgun late but that was when USC had already put their foot on the throat so it didn't really matter.

I'm not a reactionary Michigan fan who thinks we should fire Lloyd Carr after every defeat and alike, but I do think that the time has come for Lloyd to perhaps deviate from the Michigan way of playing offense. Bo is dead now, and the Michigan "Run, Run, Run" offensive philosophy should probably go with him. Michigan continually recruits strong armed QB's and very talented wide receivers and yet they still rely way to much on the run and keeping games low scoring. Unfortunately that's not the way college football is anymore. I'd rather win games 45-39 then lose. Simple as that. I'm not saying they need to go to a wacky spread offense like our friends in East Lansing (great results there too) but maybe more shotgun and four receiver sets. Get some quick hits on slants and alike and let the athletes Michigan recruits show off their skills with the ball. Yes you still need to be able to run to win and Michigan will still run the ball, but you have to change things up a bit to win in the new era of college football. Next season may be the best chance Michigan gets at a National Title for a few years and they need to take advantage.

Please Lloyd...change things up a bit....I'm really getting sick of seeing scenes like this every January...

I'm really starting to hate USC....that hand signal is dumb as hell by the way...

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